Thursday, June 6, 2013

Review: Who Was Dracula: Bram Stoker's Trail of Blood by Jim Steinmeyer

I was so excited when I received a copy of this book from the publisher.  I love Dracula, and I thought a book about the people in Stoker's life who may have influenced the book and its characters would be just my thing.  I was bit worried starting out that I wasn't going to like it, after all, Stoker worked most of his life in the theatre world, and theatre isn't really one of my things.  I ended up loving it though and actually want to do more reading into a lot of the people mentioned in the book.

One of the most talked about people in the book is actor Henry Irving, and I loved reading every little thing about him.  Another favorite person from the book is Oscar Wilde.  Stoker definitely surrounded himself with some great, well-known writers and actors.

Steinmeyer focuses a part of this book on the vampire stories that came before Dracula that may have influenced Stoker's own vampire, which I found to be really interesting.  No sparkling, angsty vampires here.

So this book focuses a lot on the people in Stoker's life and how they may have influenced his book.  The author makes some great points that are totally believable.  Though it's mostly speculation, it was really fun comparing Henry Irving and other famous people to Dracula and the other characters in the book.

I ended up really loving this book.  If you aren't interested in reading a lot about the theatre world that Stoker worked in and the literary circles that he was a part of, then it's probably not for you.  But if you love history and reading about the lives of some of the most famous people in literature and theatre of their time, then I definitely recommend it!  I for one cannot believe that Irving has basically been forgotten.  He seems like such a character and it's a shame that we don't learn about old theatre actors like him in school.  I for one had never even heard of him until picking up this book.

Have you read Who Was Dracula?

Title: Who Was Dracula: Bram Stoker's Trail of Blood
Author: Jim Steinmeyer
Date of Publication: 2013
Number of Pages: 312
Genre: Nonfiction
Source: ARC from the publisher

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